Sep 8, 2010 2:30pm PDT
jennifer johnson. you can continue the conversation off line. >> my name is jennifer johnson, i am a deputy public defender. i represent 100 seriously mentally ill clients in our behavior and held court. i have been part of the program since the planning stages. i have seen the evolution of the program. most of mcclintock felony charges and a freezing state prison. about 75 -- most of my clients have felony charges and are facing state prison. all of my clients are in behavioral health court and in the criminal justice system because of an treated mental illness. if they had been treated, have access to proper treatment in the community, they would not be in the jail. is that simple. -- it is that simple. this is not a problem that is going to get better. it is a problem that is likely to get worse. the state prison system is overcrowded. it is releasing people back to the streets. there has been a change in the law. people in state prisoner serving less time. there are a huge number of people in state prison who have a major mental illness. they will be on our streets. this problem is seri
Sep 8, 2010 3:00pm PDT
to touch on base with what was said, especially some of the things that jennifer johnson said, who is my attorney. some of the things that were sitting here tonight are some of the things that i have received. the money threatening to be cut because of the money or whatever. nearby had not had access, -- if i had not had access, i would not be standing here today. i was diagnosed as a schizophrenic, and with long- term treatment, i was able to make some drastic changes in my life. i am able to obtain and hold a job at this point. there have been times where i did not have a clue where to get treatment at because i did not know where it was available, and that is what is happening now. people do not know where to get it. if it had not been for the health corp., i would truly be shepherded into the system -- if it had not been for the health court. those places and things are needed, desperately, because if i had not been able to go to one to deal with both my addictions, the mental health and my drug addiction, that i do not know where i would be. i would probably be in prison somewhere.
Sep 8, 2010 2:00pm PDT
in 2009. that is a lot of contact that should not be occurring at all. jennifer will be talking about the behavioral health court. as an aside to that, for people who are mentally ill and participating in the behavioral health corporation, they already have to wait between four and eight weeks for community placement. they're just sitting in jail waiting for a place to go. they're waiting for treatment. the cuts in community programs are starting to make this worse. that is all that i had to say. >> do we have any questions? yes, mr. martin. >> you are getting the overflow? >> we treat people who come into the jail and are referred for mental health care. >> the doctor described the bottleneck at san francisco general. i take it you are getting a much increased flow of people into the jail? >> yes. >>
Sep 8, 2010 4:00pm PDT
for the city and county of sentences. special thanks go out to drdr. quanbeck, jennifer friedenbach, thomas jefferson, annette robinson, pam fisher, fred martin, dr. jones, susan mcintyre, virginia wright, tom purvixs, officer dunn. i like to thank you all for participating in this very special hearing. i would like to make sure that the things said this evening reached the ears of those in office at this moment. those who control the purse strings, those who make the decisions to make these cuts. we let you hear from firsthand responders, from those who are on the ground, from those professionals who have experience dealing with those in crisis. we've heard from the public this evening, passionate testimony regarding help services help out and why we need to continue with services. with that, i would like to thank you all for coming. again, we have openings on the mental health board. i hope you will grab some of our fliers and get in touch with our staff to explore the possibility of being able to sit here and make changes have been -- happen. the mental health board has done fantastic th